“Super Freak.” Super Target. Superbad. I’d say the wedding reception classic, shopper’s wonderland, and hit flick are all worth cheering. But “superbugs,” a la swine flu, salmonella, and E. coli? Not so much.
These drug-resistant infections contaminate not only our air and waterways but also America’s meat supply, which is also greatly responsible for creating them. The practice of feeding antibiotics to crowded factory farmed pigs, chickens, and cows started in the ’90s and has since skyrocketed—70 percent of the antibiotics in the U.S. last year were used on factory farms. Old killers like malaria, tuberculosis, and staph are making comebacks, stronger than ever. And thanks to the overuse of antibiotics, more than 65,000 people died last year from drug-resistant infections.
Health and government officials everywhere, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the White House to the World Health Organization, are worried. This alarming article by the Associate Press, which I urge you to read and forward, had so many mind-boggling stats and quotes that I was tempted to cut and paste it in its entirety. Instead, I lifted the following quotes:
“This is a living breathing problem, it’s the big bad wolf and it’s knocking at our door.”
—Dr. Vance Fowler, Infectious disease specialist, Duke University
“If we’re not careful with antibiotics and the programs to administer them, we’re going to be in a post antibiotic era.”
—Dr. Thomas Frieden, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
“If you mixed an antibiotic in your child’s cereal, people would think you’re crazy.”
—Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, Democrat from New York
How can you keep superbugs at bay? Start by going vegan. There’s no doubt that you’ll save animal lives—and better protect your own.
Written by Karin Bennett